Why is it called a "polka" dot?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Eric Karonen, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. Eric Karonen

    Eric Karonen RIP

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    Slow day at work .... can anyone offer up something better than the Wikipedia explanation?
     
  2. Old Doc Skinner

    Old Doc Skinner Tele-Holic

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    I bet George Carlin has something to say about it.
     
  3. snoglobe

    snoglobe Tele-Holic

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    from www.wordorigins.org


    Polka Dot

    Where did this name for round circles of dye on clothing originate? And what, if anything, does it have to do with the dance of the same name?

    In the 1840s, the polka was sweeping America. It was the latest dance craze, like the Charleston of the 1920s or the Macarena of a few summers ago. In an effort to cash in on the fad, manufacturers began naming all sorts of thing polka. Polka gauze, polka hats, polka curtain bands and many other products with the polka name hit the market in the 1840s. Although, the actual term polka dot is not attested to until 1866. Of these, only polka dots survive today.

    The term polka dot first appears in the New York Times on 21 Sep 1866: "It is effectively trimmed with anumber of rows of silk galloon of the same shade, with black or white brocaded polka dots."

    There are two possible origins for the word polka. It could come from the Czech pulka, or half-step, Pul meaning half. Or, it could be a combination of the polonaise and mazurka.

    (Sources: Oxford English Dictionary Online, Proquest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times)
     
  4. Joel Terry

    Joel Terry Poster Extraordinaire

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    To prevent it from being confused with the rumba dot. Or the polka rhombus.

    Or sumpin' like that. :p

    Joel
     
  5. sticko

    sticko Tele-Meister

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    I think it's because,
    A country dance was being held in a garden. I felt a bump, and an "oh, beg your pardon".....
     
  6. mr natural

    mr natural Friend of Leo's

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    Good one sticko

    Pullin' out that old chestnut.
    -Mr N.
     
  7. simonc

    simonc Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]

    ask these guys maybe they know....
     
  8. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    simonc -

    you ask 'em, i'll give you a dollar.

    i always figured polka dots were what you saw if you polkaed long enough.
     
  9. boogaloo

    boogaloo Tele-Afflicted

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    Polka Dots

    Were dots placed on the floor of a recital (or other room) used for the purposes of instruction in polka dancing. The dots, arranged in particular patterns, showed the dance students where to stand and where to move next- indicated by the size and number of dots stuck to the floor.


    Legend has it that Larry "Legs" Lenglidfiddit, a polka instructor, once "loosened up" some of his students by supplying them with alcohol prior to an evenings instruction. The students imbibed too much, and a frenzied session ensued, during which some students removed the sticky dots from the floor and began to stick them on various parts of each others bodies / clothing. Hence, polka dot garb was born.

    ;)

    Brian (B.S. in BS)
     
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